Tiana Coudray confirmed this morning that she will forgo her Land Rover grant for Rolex to compete at Badminton with Ringwood Magister. “I am so appreciative for the opportunity to go to Kentucky, but when it came down to it, we decided it was in Finn’s best interest to stay in England and wait for Badminton,” Tiana said. “I look forward to making the trip one day, but it’s not going to be this year.”
It has to be a daunting prospect to ship your Olympic partner to the States to qualify in a WEG year when you could instead just van 10 minutes down the road to Badminton and accomplish the same feat. Plus, Tiana and Finn have unfinished business at Badminton after those rails in show jumping cost them a top-five finish last year, so it seems like a good decision all around to stay in England.
Tiana and Finn join two other pairs missing from the Rolex entry list this morning: Becky Holder and Can’t Fire Me and Will Faudree and Andromaque. Generally we worry about the horse’s soundness leading up to Rolex, but poor Becky is the unsound one in this case after injuring her knee while walking cross country at The Fork. She withdrew there, and I was hoping she might bounce back in time, but it just wasn’t meant to be this year.
I was hoping Will might have withdrawn Missie to reroute to another major event — perhaps Luhmühlen to get a crack at impressing the very same ground jury that will officiate at WEG — but he confirmed it will be a quiet spring for her: “Unfortunately, she was not completely right following The Fork, and she obviously needs more time.” This is the same injury that kept her out of Pau last fall. Disappointing, but kudos to Will for making the best decision for Missie.
So with those withdrawals reflected on the Rolex entry list, we’re now down to 72 pairs that will trot up one week from tomorrow. Of course, anything can happen between now and then, but the chinchillas are crossing all their little toes that all the horses and humans stay healthy and safe in the days remaining until Kentucky.